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Guilty by Suspicion (1991)
A painfully tedious exposition of a modern day Salem witch hunt. An in-depth (inquisition) tale of American political paranoia that has little or no consequence outside of the USA.
A well made movie but I wasn't interested enough to finish watching it.
Regardless of good performances and an interesting story to some, I could not get into this movie at all.
Irrelevant to all not obsessed with 'subversive' communist attacks against the 'superior' western ways that clearly have no problems at all. American idiosyncratic ideals at their best (worst).
The ideas behind communism are actually quite good, just didn't work very well in practice. Have a good look at capitalism, same thing there. People are the problem not the politics. Unless you are still paranoid of communism, avoid this movie.
Excellent cast with a meaningful and truthful story
The highlight and first thing to be mentioned is the consummate Nathan Gamble as the lead character Linney. A spectacular actor well beyond his few years (and most other actors) more than competently handles many difficult scenes to bring the main premise of this story excellent believability and sharp reality. He is accompanied by a great cast to bring together a genuine, meaningful and insightful story into a very good short film.
Some small faults, almost impossible to avoid with independent filmmaking, detract little from the enjoyability of a moving and honestly told tale. The DVD, available from the website, fills in every other aspect with an amazing array of equally interesting and enjoyable extras.
Criminal Minds: The Big Wheel (2009)
CM's Best Ever?
A curious episode that sees the team playing third fiddle to the two central characters. Two brilliant performances: Alex O'Loughlin's (I would have to say flawless) portrayal of extreme OCD with greater depth of character than usually seen anywhere. Even more so to Jake Cherry pulling of a stunning, very difficult role as a blind boy who the unsub has taken an interest in. Any disability is difficult to act convincingly to those who know the condition let alone by a twelve year old! I lived with a blind woman for four years, he convinced me. How he has not earned several major awards boggles the mind.
The interplay between the two is masterful. Very rarely can you empathise with the criminal in CM but this is the perfect example. At least this episode gives us the inkling that for a few of these guys there is glimmer of hope that they might be able to change.
Criminal Minds: Into the Woods (2010)
Superb and Very Disturbing
Not often seen in CM this episode deals with the worst of what happens to children. In keeping with their style nothing salacious is shown but an incredible performance by an amazing young Gattlin Griffith certainly sent shivers up my hardened spine (not easy as a youth worker of twenty years). It did make me question what an eleven year old actor (playing a ten year old) would have to know to play certain scenes so well. I just hope that directors can explain what they need without explaining why they need it. These days kids know far too much far too young. Although he is always good this is his best, rarely given the opportunity to show his deep talent in small roles, The New Daughter is another highlight.
Although the profile begins before they leave the briefing room and a spotlight on Ried's geographical profiling, this is one where is plays little importance as it is interrupted by the main theme of this episode. The indomitable human spirit and bravery of one so young caring for and leading to the early escape of his little sister and eventually his own but to his own detriment.
Regardless of the distasteful matter more than hinted at, it has a warming ending with two abducted children returned alive to their parents summed up by Morgan's comment: "How often does that happen?"
Criminal Minds: A Shade of Gray (2009)
One of CM's best.
*** This review definitely contains big spoilers ***
Superb episode, one of my favorites. I was going to give it an eight but bumped it up to nine for Kendall Ryan Sanders' performance, it was a masterpiece of subtleties.
From the first two minutes I could see from his behaviour he knew something while still looking like the distressed brother. Within five minutes of the start I knew he was involved. A very clever and intelligent performance that, I suspect, most would have missed if they weren't watching closely, the hints so subtly demonstrated. The casting agents have a talent for finding superb child actors on the occasions they feature prominently...brings to mind "Into The Woods" with Gattlin Griffith and "The Big Wheel" with Jake Cherry.
The rest of the episode was no less satisfying for the knowing and up to their usual high standards. One of the rare ones where their profile is wrong along with a couple of false leads to confuse and a frightening detail revealed right at the end.
The Mother of Invention (2009)
Tedious, painfully tedious
The only positive thing I could possibly say is that it only takes twenty minutes to watch the last three quarters of the film on high speed fast forward.
I almost chuckled at the hat, but not quite. Not funny for a single moment. Repeating the same action, that wasn't funny the first time, fifteen times made it painful to watch.
I only watched this to see Kendall Ryan Sanders as his performance in Criminal Minds was simply stunning but he was only in this for two minutes and nothing that could show any of his superb talent. It is quite a tragedy that this fine young actor has so much trouble getting a role worthy of him.
Complete waste of time, couldn't be more disappointed.